The review on discussion here is a fabulous well considered three album package from ‘BGO’ the absolute masters of reissued music. The subject matter of which is ‘Ace’ who existed as a UK rock band between the years 1972 to 1977.
Ace, actually started off life as "Ace Flash and the Dynamos" but this, for convenience, was soon shortened to ‘Ace’. They became extremely popular treading the boards in pubs and clubs.
‘BGO’ have managed to squeeze all three of the albums which were recorded by ‘Ace’ on the ‘Anchor’ label and entitled ‘Five A Side’ (1974), ‘Time For Another’ (1975) and ‘No Strings’ (1977) into this delightful two CD package.
Generally, the music on all three albums comprises of a nice combination of melodic hooks interspersed with beautifully administered electric guitar leads with polished keyboard runs and fills. The central feature though are the extremely polished lead and harmony vocals throughout with the hit single ‘How Long (from the Five Aside Album) ’ being their veritable ‘magnum opus’, But certainly, in the same fashion as most albums, there is a slight unbalance with the standard of the music throughout each album inasmuch that some tracks fall well below the brilliance of others. For example the opening track from the same ‘Five A Side’ album ‘Snffin’ Around’ is pretty dire.
It would be a natural presumption to assume that the vocals delivered by Paul Carrack (Later contributor to Eric Clapton's band, Roger Waters' The Bleeding Heart Band, Roxy Music, Squeeze, Mike + The Mechanics) would be head and shoulders above the other vocalists. And in a certain respect this is true. But, strangely enough, on their last album, in my opinion, there is a marked decline in the overall standard of the musical arrangement compared to the first two albums. This is despite the fact that ‘Carrack’s vocal abilities were seemingly elevated to centre stage, following the bands move to the United States.. Maybe this is a reason why the band split and the musicians drifted their own separate ways.
It is indeed though a nice collection of non intrusive soft rock, comprising all three ‘Ace’ albums to own and an ideal choice of music to play in the background, for example, when entertaining guests etc.
Summary: Melodic vocal driven soft rock with a distinctly funk filled edge.
Artwork: Top notch with Illustrated booklet